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Putnam Hill Historic District facts for kids

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Putnam Hill Historic District
Second Congregational Church, Greenwich, Connecticut.jpg
Location U.S. 1, Greenwich, Connecticut
Area 36 acres (15 ha)
Built 1830 (1830)
Architect Vaux, Calvert; Multiple
Architectural style Mid 19th Century Revival, Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian
NRHP reference No. 79002657
Added to NRHP August 24, 1979

The Putnam Hill Historic District encompasses a former town center of Greenwich, Connecticut. Located on United States Route 1 between Millbank Avenue and Old Church Road, the district includes the churches of two historic congregations, a former tavern, and a collection of fine mid-Victorian residential architecture. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Description and history

Greenwich's Putnam Hill area became a secondary center to the town (after Old Greenwich) at least as early as 1702, when the Second Congregational Church was located there. It was also home to Greenwich's town hall between 1825 and 1874, which was located where the town's Civil War memorial now stands. During the American Revolutionary War it was the scene of an escape of Continental Army General Israel Putnam from surrounding British forces by riding his horse down the steep hill from the Putnam Cottage, a feat that gave the area its present name. The Putnam Cottage, formerly Knapp's Tavern, was built about 1700, and is now a museum. In the years after the American Civil War, the area developed as a fashionable residential area, with several fine period residences surviving, including the Chateauesque Tomes-Higgins House, which was designed by architect Calvert Vaux. It was also where Boss Tweed had his country estate.

The district is basically linear in extent, running from Millbank Drive in the west to Old Church Road in the east. The district has 21 contributing buildings, most of which are residential. Other features of the district are two small parks, a stone marker placed by the DAR commemorating Putnam's ride, the imposing granite wall "supposedly" built by Tweed, and the gateway to the former Jeremiah Millbank estate.

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